The Gasunie has decided that Groningen’s taps can be turned off as early as 2023
Groningen’s gas fields will no longer be exploited from 2023, rather than 2028 as previously expected. The Gasunie extraction company (owned by the Dutch state) will put its faster closure plans forward to the House of Representatives, reports the GIC.
The Dutch cabinet had already put forward plans to stop gas extraction in Groningen in 2022, but leave the field in ‘standby mode’ for a few more years until 2028. This would mean that gas could still be extracted in the event of a cold winter or in the event of a serious outage. This was called the ‘pilot flame position’.
The change of plans is due to the accelerated conversion of users in Belgium away from gas, and a possible switch from a high- to low-calorific gas (the Groningen gas type) at the Grijpskerk gas storage facility. “The definitive closure of the Groningen field can be realized earlier,” says the Gasunie.
If gas extraction in Groningen stops, gas for the Netherlands will be imported from Russia and Norway, which is high-calorific, and so not suitable for the Dutch gas network. A new factory in Zuidbroek will add nitrogen so that we can use the gas in houses, though in the future most homes will be built gas-free, as the Netherlands attempts to lower its carbon emissions.